Owls fan’s view: Gray work brings deserved reward

Referee Simon Hooper shows the red card to Joe Mattock at Rochdale, watched by Jose Semedo

Referee Simon Hooper shows the red card to Joe Mattock at Rochdale, watched by Jose Semedo

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Given their humbling of Dirty L**ds (not a public humiliation of course - that was left to us!) there was always the chance that Rochdale could be a banana skin for us too, writes Steve Walmsley.

Despite facing a gale in the first half, we never looked in real bother against a hard-working Dale outfit, and once we had the wind at our backs we were pretty comfortable, apart from the five-minute period after Mattock was unluckily sent off.

But after this we were composed, kept the ball and made the tired legs of the home players work a bit more - they hadn’t got in them, fortunately.

It was a sound, professional performance to mark the appointment of Stuart Gray as head coach, something he thoroughly deserves after his work of recent weeks.

So, we could sit down and enjoy the fifth-round draw for the first time in a few years, and it produced a decent outcome with a winnable (but not a walkover) game against Charlton at home; avoiding the big guns is what we needed.

The game at Millwall was always going to be tricky, particularly since they were fresh, having not played at the weekend.

It seemed that it was problematic for the first 25 minutes until we got to grips with it a bit. After that it sounded like it was a bruising encounter that delivered a deserved point, and, had we had Wickham, maybe it would have been more than that.

Everyone can see that we need to strengthen up front - Milan has to support Stuart Gray to do this, and doing it for the Barnsley game tomorrow would be excellent!